If you are trying to stretch your budget, it can be cheaper cutting your own hair at home than paying a professional barber or salon stylist to do the job every few weeks. Even quality electric or cordless hair clippers are relatively inexpensive and usually simple to fix. Common problems that can occur include clogged or damaged blades, a faulty cord or a battery that needs recharging. Most times when something goes wrong with hair clippers, it is an easy fix that you can do yourself.

Things You'll Need

Make sure the power cord is plugged into an electrical outlet (with appropriate voltage), if the clippers fail to operate. The on/off switch should be in the “on” position. If neither of these is the problem, examine the cord, including the plug, for signs of wear. Do not store the hair clipper with the power cord wrapped around the casing as this can damage the cord.

Check the battery and recharge if it is on low. Always recharge cordless models fully before cutting hair. Most models reach full recharge within 1 hour.

Clean between the blades after each use to avoid problems. This prevents dirt, oil, and hair clippings from building up and damaging the blades. Hair clipper products come with detachable blades and a blade cleaning brush. A soft toothbrush will do the job nicely as well. You can also tap the clipper gently against the rim of the sink to remove loose hairs.

Examine the blades, but first unplug the clippers from the power source. Remove any hair clogged between the blade teeth. See if you notice any rust on the blades. Wipe the blades clean with isopropyl alcohol using a soft cloth.

Lubricate the blades according to the manufacturer’s instructions, especially if the clippers work but sound noisy or fail to cut hair evenly and smoothly. The oil used to lubricate the parts of a sewing machine works well on hair clippers, but any light grade lubricating oil will do. Use about three drops.

Take really dull blades to have them professionally sharpened by a blade sharpening service, especially if the hair clippers are an expensive brand. Some companies offer a mail order service to customers (see Resources). If the clipper set is a cheaper, lower quality model, it might be more economical simply to purchase a new set. Keep in mind that even an inexpensive set of clippers can cut hair for a long time.

While the blades remove easily from the most hair clippers, on some models, one or two small screws hold the clipper head in place. Remove blades to clean and then snap the head back down on the clipper or tighten the screws in place. Most hair clipper blades stay sharp if kept clean and well maintained.